There’s lots of talk at the moment about various different nations sending unmanned spacecraft to the Moon. In the meantime, Japan has gone ahead and done it:
Japan’s Kaguya probe slid into lunar orbit late Wednesday after a circuitous 20-day trek from Earth to begin more than a dozen science investigations designed to gain insights about the moon’s history.
The two-ton spacecraft fired its maneuvering thruster for between 10 and 20 minutes at about 2055 GMT (4:55 p.m. EDT) Wednesday, or in the predawn hours Thursday Japanese time, according to JAXA spokesperson Satoki Kurokawa.
“We have completely done it and found no problem,” Kurokawa said.
Congratulations to the Kaguya team!